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A Cross‐Sectional Evaluation of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Content on Canadian and US Ophthalmology Residency Program Websites

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Paper Presentation | Présentation d'article
4:20 PM, Friday 16 Jun 2023 (5 minutes)
Québec City Convention Centre - Room 308 B | Salle 308 B

Authors: Imaan Z. Kherani, Daiana R. Pur ,  Nupura K. Bakshi   

Author Disclosures:   I.Z. Kherani:  None.  D.R. Pur:  None.  N.K. Bakshi:   Any direct financial payments including receipt of honoraria; Name of for-profit or not-for-profit organization(s); Bayer, Novartis, Biogen, Roche, Teva. Any direct financial payments including receipt of honoraria; Description of relationship(s); Consulting/Speaker Fees.


Abstract Body:

Purpose: Residency program websites are a primary resource for prospective applicants, with potential impact on their decision‐making and application dossier content. Given the role of online content in post‐pandemic medical education, and the importance of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in post‐graduate medical education, we evaluated EDI commitment and action metrics on Canadian and US accredited ophthalmology departmental websites.   

Study Design:   Cross‐Sectional   

Methods:   139 Canadian and US departments with accredited ophthalmology residency programs were identified via the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. In May 2022, all departmental websites and associated CaRMS website Canadian program descriptions were independently reviewed. Thirteen pre‐determined commitment‐ and action‐ based metrics framed Canadian website evaluation. Commitment metrics included (1) mention of EDI, (2) a formal EDI statement, (3) presence of a land acknowledgement,  and (4) EDI commitment mentioned within the 2022 CaRMs program descriptions. Furthermore, action metrics involved (5) EDI departmental leadership (6) EDI department initiatives, (7) department demographics (8) social determinants of the patient population, (9) linked EDI resources, (10) presence of Indigenous leadership, (11) Indigenous‐centric learning, (12) Indigenous‐centric electives, and (13) EDI‐specific mentorship. Of the 13 metrics, 7 were concurrently collected as comparators on US departmental websites. Descriptive analysis and correlational statistical analysis were performed.

Results:   While >50% of websites mentioned the term EDI or synonyms, only 44 (31.6%, 1 Canadian and 43 US) detailed a department‐specific EDI statement. Five Canadian websites (33%) included a land acknowledgement, and 3 programs demonstrated formal EDI commitment on CaRMS 2022 program descriptions. Thirteen programs  
(9.3%) mentioned EDI leadership, inclusive of one Canadian program. Thirty‐eight websites (27.3%) formally described EDI initiatives, most often minority mentorship (19 mentions), lectureship (14 mentions), or elective support for equity‐deserving learners (11 mentions). Four websites (2.8%) had departmental demographics, namely gender or race. Sixteen programs (11.5%) highlighted social determinants of health, and 20 websites (14.3%) had embedded EDI‐focused resources. There was a moderate positive correlation between commitment and action EDI metrics across websites reviewed (r (137) = 0.54, p<0.00001).   

Conclusions:   While meaningful EDI engagement extends beyond website content, this data demonstrates that accredited Canadian and US ophthalmology program websites lack information on EDI commitment and action. Visibility of this information could be pivotal to attracting prospective applicants of diverse and equity‐deserving backgrounds. Addressing this paucity of accessible website content is one simple step ophthalmology programs may take to enhance their commitment to EDI.

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